Among all the health crazes around at the moment, the Paleo diet is one of the most popular. Following a Paleo diet means adopting the same diet as caveman several thousand years ago. This diet has created a new following of health conscious people eating red meat, organic veggies, and no chemically produced goods whatsoever.
It is no small coincidence that a large number of those who follow the Paleo diet also take CBD oil; it’s a natural complement to following a caveman’s diet.
Let’s take a look why CBD oil works so well as a complement to the Paleo diet.
Firstly, what is CBD Oil?
For starters, we need to understand what CBD oil is.
CBD oil is an extract of cannabidiol from a hemp or marijuana plant, suspended within inert oil for easy application.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for simplicity, is one of the principal cannabinoids within cannabis. CBD, alongside its more familiar cousin THC, affects the body in a myriad of different ways. Once ingested, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a health system that runs throughout the body and affects a great deal of bodily functions.
What effects it generates is dependent on the receptors being activated by the CBD – the CB1 receptor is mostly located in the brain and is thus able to affect the release of positive neurochemicals like serotonin and melatonin, as well as the sensation of pain. Meanwhile, the CB2 receptor, spread much more generally throughout the body, is able to control the rate at which cells regenerate, as well as the inflammation response in the body.
Though all cannabinoids are able to affect these receptors, it is CBD that is the most beneficial for our health due to the way in which it interacts with the receptors.
Instead of attaching itself to the receptors and over-stimulating them like THC, it stimulates them slowly and gradually, allowing for a gentle treatment rather than a huge burst like what THC causes.
Through CBD’s interaction with the ECS, it is able to cause many changes throughout the body, so much so that many people use it both as a health supplement and as a treatment for specific conditions.
It is CBD oil’s ability to interact with the CB2 receptor and its rate of cellular regeneration that is most interesting for those following Paleo diets. Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what a Paleo diet actually is.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is essentially focused around what a caveman would eat – it sounds pretty simple, but that’s basically it.
Followers of Paleo state that when mankind was first gaining sentience, living as cavemen in smaller tribes, we lived a healthier and more robust life. People of that time lived off of what they could gather, essentially using no agriculture whatsoever.
This means that genetically altered, GMO crops are a no-go. Instead, Paleo followers eat red meat, vegetables and fruits found naturally, and plenty of seafood and nuts. They avoid any kind of overly processed foods and try to stick to what can be found naturally in the wild.
This kind of diet is pretty limiting, but followers insist that it’s the natural way of living.
It isn’t just about nutrition, though – as long as they’re meeting their requirements of both macro and micronutrients, people can eat whatever they like. Paleo followers argue that this is a return to the natural state, a diet and lifestyle more suited to how we evolved. Some even take it that one step further and try to only eat what they themselves hunt or grow, keeping entirely within the limits of what a Paleolithic man would be able to find.
With this mentality in mind, it makes a lot of sense that those who follow it are also interested in CBD oil.
Why Does Paleo Work Well with CBD Oil?
It turns out that Paleo works extremely well with CBD, and indeed all cannabinoids, because hemp was available in the wild.
Before widespread cultivation of the hemp plant for textiles and psychedelics, cavemen consumed hemp for centuries. It isn’t called “weed” for nothing!
According to Mary Barna Bridgeman and Daniel T Abazia in a report for the Journal of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, evidence exists that people have been using hemp plants as a nutritional supplement, a textile, and a medicine for over 5000 years.
The reason for this (though the cavemen likely didn’t know it) is that CBD has a number of remarkably useful effects on the human body that hunter gatherers would be extremely interested in. Here are a few of them…
Fitness in general is a trait very important to those following Paleo life – though they may no longer be hunting in the wilderness and building cave homes, Paleo dieters still want to keep their body in good shape while following their chosen lifestyle.
CBD is an excellent supplement to consider for those trying to improve their fitness, as it has a number of useful effects on the body regarding the muscles and general fitness.
For starters, one of the principle annoyances for anyone trying to improve their fitness or quality of muscle mass is muscle fatigue.
This simple condition is nothing more than your muscles becoming overworked and tired, causing inflammation and soreness – it can sometimes get so bad that you might feel you can’t lift your arms over your head!
Despite what feels like your body’s punishment on you for daring to exercise too hard, there is actually a way to deal with it.
The pain and irritation is due to the body’s inflammation response, which exists as a way to both protect the injured area and to warn you to not over-exert yourself again – think of it like a tentative slap on the wrist for trying to touch a hot stove.
CBD is able to help counteract this by controlling the inflammation response through the CB2 receptor, an interaction covered by Carrier et al. in their study for the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.
By interacting with the CB2 receptor, the inflammation response can be encouraged to, in a sense, turn off, shutting down the pain and discomfort.
The mechanisms of this are extremely interesting, as it is similar to how CBD interacts with the ECS in the first place. Instead of directly turning off the inflammation response like some painkillers do to the sensation of pain, CBD instead acts as a direct antagonist of the Adenosine Receptor, which is known as A2A.
It essentially turns off the body’s signals to activate the receptor, acting as a sort of shield and gently encouraging the body to not activate its regular inflammation response.
There is a slight risk in doing this too much, as your body is trying to inflame an injury for a reason – it’s damaged! Even if you reduce the inflammation and shut off the warning system, you still need to take care of your injured joint or ligament.
However, if you’re at all concerned with your body’s fatigue and want to push yourself just that little bit further, CBD oil can absolutely help make you that much closer to a Paleolithic man.
Reducing your recovery time
For those interested in leading a Paleo life, recovery time is something you are eminently concerned with.
Recovery time simply refers to length of a rest period you need to take between periods of exercise.
When you’re concerned with running, hunting and gathering your food, this is of significant importance – shorter recovery time means more opportunities for gathering food.
Though modern Paleo followers aren’t likely to be running down their meals anytime soon, they are still concerned with their bodies with regard to keeping them as close to how they would be thousands of years ago.
Thanks to a study published by Ethan Russo for the Therapeutic Clinic of Risk Management, we know that CBD is able to lower the amount of pain and irritation you feel as a result of over exercise.
By administering CBD, you are able to both reduce this pain and the damage to your muscle tissue, allowing you to keep going longer and, most importantly, not have to take such a long break before exercising again.
Organic CBD is the Best CBD
Another reason why CBD oil works so perfectly with the Paleo diet is because the Paleo diet is extremely focused on consuming only organic goods and produce.
Anything made with modern agriculture like we have today, with artificial fertilizers, gene therapy and other manmade treatments, are completely against the core principles of Paleo.
Due to the nature of CBD oil being made by those concerned with the consumption of cannabis, the vast majority of CBD oil available is made using entirely organic agricultural and extraction methods.
For those that are concerned with only consuming purely organic products that are similar to what Paleolithic man would have been eating, CBD oil is absolutely suitable.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Paleo
The Paleolithic diet is a way of life focused on healthy, natural eating.
Whether it is about eating only organically grown produce and red meat, or even only eating what you hunt and gather yourself, Paleo dieters are concerned for both their own wellbeing and their connection to their cavemen ancestors.
CBD oil is not only a viable option for them thanks to its standard organic growing practises, but can actually be a helpful, and indeed useful, tool to help keep their bodies in a state most similar to Paleolithic life.
Some might scorn their lifestyle, but at least they can still use CBD oil to help improve their quality of life and stay fit.